The Peoples Republic of China began issuing the Gold Panda coins in 1982 in several sizes, including 1 ounce, 1/2, 1/4,and 1/10 troy ounce of .999 fine gold. In 1983 a 1/20th ounce size was added and in some years larger 5 and 12 ounce sizes were added. What makes the Chinese Gold Panda Coins unique is that each year features a different design. In 2001 a freize design was created and the design was identical in 2002. Collectors complained about the identical designs so China went back to producing unique designs each year. Each coin features the animal celebrity symbol of the People's Republic of China, the Giant Panda. All of the coins are minted in Prooflike Brilliant Uncirculated condition. Gold Panda Proof Sets were also available from 1986 to 1995.
The 1998 1/10 ounce Chinese Gold Panda Coin is considered rare because of its low mintage number of 8,502, making it a more valuable investment coin. The 1/10 ounce size is also the most favored size in the jewelry industry, making this coin more difficult to find. As of May 2011, China is now the largest consumer of investment grade gold products. This fact also causes a forced increase in the price of all of the Chinese Gold Panda Coins. One of these coins was listed for sale in June 2011 at $1,799.95.
The 1998 1/10 ounce Chinese Gold Panda Coin has a diameter of 17.95 mm and is 1.05 mm thick. Its denomination is 10 Yuan. Red copper spots may appear on both sides of the coin due to impurities in the .1% that is not gold. Impurities may come from the die or other tooling process. It is debatable whether the presence of the spots reduces the value of the coin.
On the obverse or front side of the coin is a depiction of the Hall of Prayer for Abundant Harvest in the Temple of Heaven, a Taoist temple in Beijing. Below the temple is the date of issuance which may be in either large or small type. From 1987 to 2000, Gold Pandas were produced at two Mints, the Shanghai which produced the more frequent small date, and the Shenyang which produced the large date.
The reverse side of the coin depicts the Giant Panda. The 1998 year shows the Panda in full view resting on a log. The Giant Panda holds a sprig of bamboo in his left paw and the animal uses its right paw to prop itself up on the log. Beside the right paw is the 10 yuan currency denomination and above the animal is the .999 1/10 OZ. Au.